Chip shortage might close Jeep plant in May

Jefferson North is likely to shut down in early May until it gets a new supply of HVAC control chips, according to an article in Automotive News. Jeep supplier JVIS relies on chips from NXP, which makes them in Austin; while JVIS needs 70,000 chips for the plant for the quarter, only around 27,000 are likely to be available.

Jefferson North (2017)

NXP lost a stunning five weeks of production time due to power losses and freezing weather in Texas in February. Natural gas and coal power plants shut down due to frozen valves and other issues, at the same time a key nuclear plant was down for maintenance. There was also a mild shortfall in power from wind turbines. Because a large part of Texas has almost no interconnectivity with other grids, and local Texas grids were not engineered with this kind of problem in mind, and problems in the last major freeze a decade ago were not addressed, power to many parts of the state was out for an extended period. The result was a 700,000-chip deficit at NXP; the fabrication facility (“fab”) was shut down suddenly, destroying works in progress, and related repairs have not been completed yet (and may not be until June, according to the article).

The Jefferson North plant is relatively new, and is dedicated to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

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